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The Kremlin is losing influence in the far East, loses it in the middle

Кремль, потеряв влияние на Дальнем Востоке, теряет его на Ближнем

Occasional Israeli attack on the Iranian position in Syria has alarmed Russia, which is trying to consolidate its military successes in that country. Active intervention by Israel to destroy the highly unstable security architecture, which Russian work in Syria. Moscow has to balance between its ally in the war, Iran and Israel, an important regional player between the two States with radically different geopolitical imperatives.

Over the past few months one of the main concerns of the Kremlin was the extent to which Israel will expand its preventive strikes on Syria.

On 10 February over the Israeli airspace was shot down by the Iranian military drone that was followed by a quick and devastating Israeli response. Two months later, on 9 April, Israeli aircraft struck again, bombing the base T4 and killing 14 personnel, including at least 7 people from the IRGC. Russian foreign Minister Lavrov called it a very dangerous developments.

These incidents give grounds for assuming that a military confrontation between Israel and Syria (and thus Iran) can develop into a serious situation that will be able to get out from under Russia’s control. Moscow is worried because it tends to remain in Syria equilibrium.

How, then, could Russia be responsible to the extent that, as between Iran and Israel will increase tension in Syria?

The cooling of relations with Jerusalem due to the Syrian theater of war would be an undesirable development. Russia, having achieved important victories, is trying in Syria to maintain its dominant position. But to achieve this goal becomes harder as the density of forces in the Syrian theater is growing. It is unlikely that the United States withdraw its military bases. The Turks have operations in the North — in ‘ afrīn. A powerful Pro-Iranian forces currently stand near the border with Israel, and in the recent peace conferences achieved only modest success. The last thing Russia needs is the fact that in this conflict militarily intervened Israel.

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This could explain why Russia conceded defeat on a number of points, when it came to Israel’s security.

Think, for example, what happened after the US and its allies April 14, struck by cruise missiles at targets deep in Syrian territory. At first Moscow responded on delivery to Damascus of advanced s-300 systems, the supply of which was suspended in 2013 due to the fact that I am opposed to Israel.

Russian foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that in light of the strikes of the Western allies, Russia is not constrained by any ethical obligations to refrain from the transfer of these missiles to Syria. In the Russian media quoted an unnamed source from the Ministry of defence, who said that deliveries could begin in the near future.

However, after the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Russia at the celebrations of Victory Day in early may, Russian media quoted a senior Kremlin official Vladimir Kozhin, who said that Moscow does not conduct with the Syrian government talks on the supply of missile systems of a class “earth-air” s-300. Moreover, on may 31, Israeli defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited Moscow. Many Russian analysts associated with the Kremlin, began to argue that they had a deal in which Iran would withdraw their armed forces from the Israeli-Syrian border. If so, then for the Russian authorities is 180 degrees.

Moscow also worth thinking about the implications with reference to sources in military and political circles from time to time appear in the Russian media that if Iran attacks Israel from Syria either on your own or with the help of its proxy forces, Hezbollah, Israel won’t hold back. He will respond with full force, with his eye on the Iranian earth.

At the global level, there is a hypothetical possibility that Russia could be a potential mediator between Iran and Israel. Demonstration around the world that peace between two such archiprojektas depends on Moscow, would be a big diplomatic conspiracy. The Kremlin, according to numerous recent assumptions in the Russian media, seem to not even considering such a possibility. Moreover, since Vladimir Putin was, in fact, behind the potentially historic events on the Korean Peninsula, the Kremlin, perhaps seeking funds to present themselves as powerful forces in the middle East.

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Russian concessions to Israel in Syria does not prevent further strengthening of Russian-Iranian partnership. For both countries there are many points of adhesion. The US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran has placed Russia and European countries on one side to prevent the possible scrapping of the agreement. Joint opposition to the US pressure does Moscow and Tehran, is more than just convenient allies. It makes the Russian position in the emerging Iranian-Israeli confrontation in Syria is tricky. Both Russia and Iran are seeking ways to balance the unstable political situation in Syria and around it. As the Syrian conflict persists, it is very difficult to formulate a specific scenario, even short-term.

Nevertheless, we can firmly say the following. Russian realize that in light of Israel’s interests in the security sphere, some kind of intervention on the part of Israel will still take place. They also know that Israel with a high degree of probability will have to answer, even if the Golan heights directly nothing will threaten. On the other hand, it is unlikely that the Iranians because of their geopolitical imperatives and military interests — went on some concessions in Syria. These different positions from time to time will inevitably encounter.

Russia is forced to execute a difficult room, balancing between Israel and Iran when it tries to position itself as a primary player in resolving the conflict between the two geopolitical rivals.

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